The mercy of the Lord, Jesus is an incredible thing. His patience. His compassion. His wisdom. He knows how to deal with the vulnerable. As it is written of Him, “a bruised reed shall he not break, and a smoking flax shall he not quench.” When we are barely hanging on to the faith, He does not break us. He does not put our lights out.
It’s interesting to me. On one hand, there is the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. The foolish, who had no oil in their lamp, were not ready when the bridegroom returned. On one hand, there are rebukes given to the churches in Revelation. 5 of the 7 were threatened with having their “candlestick removed out of its place.” It seems that only two are left in Revelation 11, so the others must have been “removed.”
On the other hand, “a smoking flax shall he not quench.”
I’ve seen a lot of faith-breaking and Spirit-quenching ministry. It is a shame though. In this time, when Christians need to ban together, fill one another, and build each other up, there are many who would rather break and snuff out.
I guess that’s what it means to be a prophet (I speak sarcastically). Some seem to think so. They seem to think that sniffing out the weak within the flock then devouring them makes them messengers of God. They call it rebuke and exhortation. I don’t think Jesus would agree. I think He would say they are drunken with a false sense of righteousness, power, and the notion that they are something great in the kingdom. I think He would say that they are smithing their fellow servants. I think He would say “depart from me you who work iniquity, I never knew you.”
I have struggled with this too. I know that temptation and the blindness that can take hold of you. This is not the way, and it make me sad when I see it. There is a lot of this Online. There are good ministries Online too, but there are many who are looking for those lost sheep so they can devour them. Of course, they don’t think that is what they do. The think they are doing God’s service.
There are problems with our churches. We can learn from Revelation and from the lessons of our history so that our gatherings are made better. If they must come down, and I do believe that they will of a necessity so that the Kingdom of God can be established; the old must die to make way for the new, which is blessing in the end. However, the church—which is in spirit and not contained by our buildings—and the temple of God—which are all believers and their individual relationship with Jesus in Spirit—will never fall.
Instead of worrying overmuch about the failings of the things that will die, why not consider how we can make that which will live better?
Some Christians see the failings of our churches, and they fear. They fear that Christians will not make it. Instead, we should trust in the One who is “meek and lowly in heart.” His grace is what we lean on. Not our abilities or our failings.
Some see the failings of our churches, and they become wrathful. They feel a sense of indignation against them, and they feel just in tearing them down. Instead, we should know that God is in control. He is dealing patiently with all of us, and all things work according to His timing.
If things need to be torn down, He will send and enemy to do so—and again, this is for our good ultimately.
Christians should not tear down other Christians. Period.
We should build up. We should rebuke sin—in the spirit of meekness—lest we be tempted to be as the fearful, unbelieving, and murderous. Lest we align ourselves with those who set themselves up as an idol, looking to gather to themselves disciples for their kingdom. Lest we judge things before their time and find ourselves judged instead.
Let those who destroy do their work. It is necessary, but not for us. Those who destroy will be destroyed. Let those who build do their work. It is necessary, and to those there is everlasting life.
We can fight against the enemy in the realm of false teachings, sin, and all manner of destruction. This includes the ministers of destruction—and there are many. It’s easy to spot when you were once one of them.
That’s why the focus right now is that we should be careful of “the spirit we are of.” That’s why the focus right now is that “those who walk after the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” That’s why the focus right now is that we do not want to be found “drunk and smiting our fellow servants.”
This is a serious matter—but as with all things—trust is greater than fear. Even these can be shown a better way. The Lord understands that “because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” He can soften our hearts. He can open our blind eyes. He can make a way for us to escape—and He will.